March 2, 2009

From Staff Reports

I noticed Saturday that the Journal seemed behind on reporting the approaching conclusion of the Shirley Kinge case.

I picked up this morning's Journal, and noticed the headline at the top of the front page: "Judge to decide damages owed by state to Shirley Kinge". Good. It's an ugly 20-year-old story whose conclusion should be noted.

Then I noticed the byline - "From Staff Reports". "From Staff Reports"? In the past that's often meant a gently reheated press release. This article is all right, and to be fair it's announcing the start of a hearing, but it's really strange to see the "no real reporter covering this news" byline on the top line of a local front page story.

At least they reported it, I guess. Maybe they've run out of ink and energy from years of covering it in depth?

Posted by simon at 8:52 AM Comment

March 5, 2009

Sungiva's eleventh month

She just keeps growing, and exploring more and more. She figured out crawling, is working on standing, and seems to be getting ready for walking.

Sungiva explores the contents of her changing table.
Sungiva explores the contents of her changing table.

Sungiva chooses seeds for the garden.
Sungiva chooses seeds for the garden.

Sungiva rests.
Sungiva rests.

If you'd like to see more of this sweet little girl, I've posted a gallery.

Posted by simon at 8:40 AM Comment

March 18, 2009

Village elections today

It's election day, even though it's a Wednesday in March. Dryden and Freeville hold their elections in March, and New York State considers St. Patrick's Day a good reason to hold elections a day later. Polls are open from noon to 9:00pm today at the village halls.

In the Village of Freeville, it sounds like yet another uncontested race, with incumbent trustees Rachel Dickinson and Marco Cestaro running for re-election.

In the Village of Dryden, it's the busiest race we've seen in years, with full slates running for both the Democrats and the Republicans, signs everywhere, and candidates out and talking with people.

I'm especially happy with the Democratic slate this year. We managed to combine our most successful candidates from past trustee races with a mayoral candidate who's already demonstrated her ability to get things done on Main Street. I marvel at their unique combination of energy, experience, and deep connection to the Village.

I first met Wendy Martin when she was first presenting the idea that would become the Dryden Community Center Cafe. She came to the Dryden Town Historical Society trustees to present the idea, which was happily received. Her energy, conviction, and love of her community were already obvious then, and have only grown since. The Cafe took root, a first small step toward reversing the past few years' collapse in downtown Dryden, and a big step toward bringing together many people who hadn't known each other before.

I was delighted when I heard that she was considering running for Mayor, and it was very clear that she'd done her homework when she first started coming to meetings. She'd examined the Village budget, the sewer plant, the recent history of Town and Village politics, and talked with neighbors, elected officials past and present, and neighbors. Since then she's continued to reach out, knocking on doors, going to meetings, and sharing her vision for the Village.

Our two trustee candidates, Mary Ellen Bossack and Lisa Valentinelli, bring their own deep connections with the Village. Bossack has worked as a schools counselor in the Dryden schools for decades, and served as a Village Trustee for three terms before. Lisa Valentinelli teaches at the MacCormick Secure Center in Caroline. She grew up in Dryden, and as she puts it, "she's always come back to Dryden." She's been involved in Dryden politics before, both through her father's campaigns for Town Justice and through her own campaign for Village Trustee, which we thought she'd won until the absentee ballots put her down by 3.

Together, the three of them are an incredible combination of vision, energy, and experience, and I hope Village of Dryden voters will elect them today!

Posted by simon at 8:37 AM Comment

March 26, 2009

Sungiva's birthday is tomorrow

It's almost been a year!

Sungiva wonders how that chicken snuck in.
Sungiva wonders how that chicken snuck in. (The back door blew open, but still...)

Sungiva and Angelika watch ducks where they belong - outside.
Sungiva and Angelika watch ducks where they belong - outside.

Mother and daughter in heavy-duty outerwear.
Mother and daughter in heavy-duty outerwear.

Sungiva and her friendliest pet, Puschelwuschel.
Sungiva and her friendliest pet, Puschelwuschel.

As always, I've posted a gallery. And if you want to look back to when she was tiny, see these pictures from her first month.

Posted by simon at 10:49 PM Comment